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1953: Queen Mary laid to rest in Windsor

Queen Mary has been laid to rest next to her late husband following a funeral service at Windsor Castle.

More than 1,500 mourners, including many royal dignitaries from around the world, attended the service at St George's Chapel in Windsor today.

The former Queen's body was brought by car from London to Windsor in the early hours of this morning.

It had lain-in-state at Westminster Hall from 29 to 30 March during which time nearly 120,000 people filed past her coffin to pay their last respects.

Gastric problems

Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes was born on 26 May 1867 to Prince and Princess Francis of Teck.

The Princess, who was known as May from her earliest days, married Prince George of Wales on 6 July 1893 and became his Queen on 6 May 1910.

The couple, who had six children, reigned until King George's death on 29 January 1936.

Queen Mary died on 24 March at her home, Marlborough House in London, after having suffered gastric problems for several weeks. She was 85.

During the week since her death messages of sympathy have arrived from around the world.

As mourners arrived in Windsor for the funeral this morning hundreds of wreaths and cards of sympathy lay on the lawns outside the castle.

Queen Mary's coffin draped in her banner of arms was brought into St George's chapel for the service by six military pallbearers.

The funeral service, broadcast by the BBC, was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Francis Fisher.

The Queen, wearing a long black veil, paid her final respects by sprinkling earth three times from a silver bowl onto the coffin as the Archbishop declared her resurrection to eternal life with the words 'Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.'

As she left the catafalque the Queen gave a deep curtsey.

Queen Mary will be laid to rest next to her late husband in the tomb built in St George's Chapel following his death.

Later in the day a memorial service was held at St Paul's Cathedral for members of the public. About 4,000 people attended.

The Queen has declared that official court mourning for Queen Mary will last until 25 April.

In Context
In August 1953 a grant of probate, published at the Principal Probate Registry in London, revealed that Queen Mary had left 379,864 in her will.

Queen Mary was the wife of George V and mother to Edward VIII and George VI.

She was an austere and regal figure, but this made her more, rather than less, admired, and her strong sense of duty and her steadfastness through both World Wars earned her an enduring affection.

This most traditional of monarchs, however, oversaw some of the biggest upheavals the Royal Family has ever seen.

The worst came when, to her strong disapproval, her son, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry the divorced American, Wallis Simpson.

She outlived three of her children as well as her husband.

She lived to see her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, ascend to the throne - the third of her descendants to do so - but died three months before the formal coronation.


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